As we await this year’s Super Bowl (can’t believe it’s now held in mid-February), it’s interesting to reflect on the changes that have taken place over the past couple of years on the playing field as a result of data analytics.

Probably one of the most striking changes is how often data analytics are used to indicate that teams should “go for it” on fourth down.  As a result, almost every team has greatly increased the number of times they seek a first down on fourth down.  Just a couple of years ago (and among some old timer coaches), it was standard practice not to ever go for it on fourth down.  The data is bringing strategy changes, and quickly.

The Cincinnati Bengals, an organization with a reputation for frugality, not only has a data analytics professional on staff, but that person is wired into the head coach throughout every game and provides him with continual data analytics for almost every situation that develops.  This may help explain why they are playing in this year’s Super Bowl.

What’s happening in professional football is – or should be – happening in your organization.  There are so many ways an organization can employ unexplored data to analyze and more deeply understand their operations and their customers.  And go for the win!

Like going for a fourth down conversion, organizations are learning that data often reveals that their sacred assumptions are no longer the standard that should be followed.  We’ve seen this time and again when our clients have asked us to conduct quantitative research.  For example, one attribute that has often been tested in certain industries, and that surprises many as highly important in the buying decision is “invoice accuracy.”

On its face, invoices are ancillary to the product or service being bought/sold.  However, dealing with an inaccurate invoice is not only frustrating, but it takes your customers’ employee resources to resolve.  Those indirect costs add up, and we’ve learned that if a client can’t trust you to invoice them accurately, then they’ll take their business elsewhere.  Are you aware how many times your customers have questioned your company about invoice errors? And what kind of errors they are?  Quantity? Pricing? Delivery charges?  This data should be readily available. You cannot fix what you don’t know is broken.

Organizations who continue to eschew data analytics in favor of “going with our gut” will find there are times when their gut is right and times when it is wrong.  No matter how many decades of experience you and your leadership may have in your industry, clients change, competition comes and goes, and customers’ buying criteria definitely changes. 

There are likely 3-4 key performance drivers that ultimately guide your customers’ buying decisions for which you must have reliable data.  If you don’t know what those driver values are, then you may not have metrics for them and therefore may not adequately deliver them or message about them.

Much as professional football decisions are being transformed by data, so too should your organization.

How will your data help you in the next quarter?

Prediction – at least twice in this year’s Super Bowl a team will ‘go for it’ on fourth down.

Contact Smart Advantage to learn what data you need to score big

(954) 763-5757

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